Cash Money sued over millions of Drake profits
By Chris Cooke | Published on Tuesday 18 April 2017
Universal Music-allied label Cash Money Records is being sued by the company which brought Drake to its roster, and which reckons that it is owed tens of millions of dollars in relation to that deal.
Aspire Music Group signed Drake to both management and recording agreements in 2008. It then did a deal with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, which is an imprint of Cash Money Records, run by Bryan and Ronald Williams. Under that deal Cash Money and Wayne’s imprint got to release Drake’s records, but Aspire would receive a third of all the copyrights created and a third of all the profits generated by Drake’s first six albums.
Aspire claims that, beyond a “few modest advances”, it has seen little of the money it is due and received only sporadic accounting from Cash Money. It also alleges that, when it did account, the label applied deductions to the monies it received from Universal – which handles all the distribution of Drake’s music – for costs that had actually already been deducted by the major before it reported to Cash Money. The aim of those additional deductions, it is alleged, was to reduce what was owed to Aspire to more or less zero.
It’s not the first round of litigation relating to Drake’s deal with Cash Money. Hip hop producer Jas Prince, who introduced Drake to Aspire, went legal a few years back – initially against Aspire itself, and then Cash Money. He also claimed that he was due a cut of Drake’s recording income as a result of the deal he did with Aspire.
Lil Wayne has also gone legal with both Cash Money and Universal, in the latter case arguing that the major is incorrectly setting his share of Young Money profits – including from the Drake releases – off against advances previously paid to the Williams brothers. The mega-advances paid by Universal to Cash Money are also listed as an extra complexity in Aspire’s lawsuit, which was filed in the New York courts yesterday.